My 2013 End of Year Book Survey

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Best in Books 2013

1. Best book you read in 2013? (If you have to cheat – you can break it down by genre)

  • Graphic Novel – The Nao of Brown by Glynn Dillon
  • Young Adult – Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  • Science Fiction – The Humans by Matt Haig
  • Fantasy – The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
  • Nonfiction – Mummy Knew by Lisa James

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013? 

  • ReMIND by Jason Brubaker – I had no idea what to expect from this from the synopsis, but it turned out to be absolutely brilliant! (See my review here.)

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – This one was fantastically spectacular. I completely fell in love with it! (See my review here.)

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

  • Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

  • Margaret Atwood – I knew about her, but this year was the first time I actually got a chance to read her books. Amazing!

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

  • Mummy Knew by Lisa James – Nonfiction books on abuse was definitely a new experience for me (the only one I had read before Mummy Knew is A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer), and it has given me a greater understanding of others and a greater ability to sympathize. (See my review here.)

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

  • Again, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

  • Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom – This was absolutely fantastic, and within that small book is many more lessons yet to be learned! (See my review here.)

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

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Utterly spectacular!

11. Most memorable character in 2013? 

  • Unnamed Alien (in Professor Andrew Martin’s body) from The Humans by Matt Haig

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

  • The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey – The words are pure poetry!

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?

  • Mummy Knew by Lisa James – It’s such a horrific story that really makes you think.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read? 

  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – I started reading this when it first came out, but my heart just wasn’t in it. I can’t believe it took me until this year to finish it! It’s absolutely magnificent!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

“Dear Son,

You’re holding this letter now because this is the most important day of your life. You’re about to have your first child. That means the life you’ve built with such effort, that you’ve conquered, has finally reached the point where it no longer belongs to you. This baby is the new master of your life. He is the sole reason for your existence.”

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

  • Shortest: Anthem by Ayn Rand
  • Longest: Outlander (Outlander Series#1) by Diana Gabaldon

 17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

  • Again, Mummy Knew by Lisa James – This whole book is filled with shocking and horrifying scenes.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

  • Jack and Mabel from The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey – Their relationship was absolutely wonderful. It had flaws and was completely realistic. It is, hands down, one of my favourite couples of all time.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien 

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

  • The Nao of Brown by Glynn Dillon – It was recommended to me by a local librarian, and I ended up loving it!

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

  • Graphic Novels (It’s not really a genre, but I don’t want to get too specific on this one.)

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

  • Tim Drake and Wally West from Teen Titans (comics)

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

  • I’m not really sure about this one.

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

  • Excluding graphic novels, Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

  • The Humans by Matt Haig – It was so entertaining and funny!

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

  • Mummy Knew by Lisa James
  • Damaged by Cathy Glass

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

  • Aquaman Vol. 2: The Others y Geoff Johns – I think Aquaman as a whole gets too overlooked. The New 52 actually did a great job with him and his storyline!

Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?

  • Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?

  • Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

  • Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

 4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?

  • I’m not sure! I can’t think of any as of right now!

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?

  • I want to try and read and blog more!

Whew! I had a lot of fun answering these questions! Thanks for reading! Have a happy holidays and a very Happy New Year!

Book Review: Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

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What a pleasure it is to have found this book! On a cold,lonely winter night, this is exactly what I needed to remind me that life doesn’t happen by itself. We have to make it happen.

This nonfiction book is about a young man, Mitch, who has not seen his beloved college professor, Morrie, in years. During this time, Morrie is diagnosed with ALS. Mitch forgets the teachings Morrie has given him during his younger years about valuing the intangible things in life. This changes when Mitch sees Morrie on television talking about his condition. With this revelation, Mitch goes back to his professor and reconnects with him. This visit evolves into a weekly visit, every Tuesday, where the pair talk about life, the meaning of it all, and of course, death.

Morrie is an amazing person, and I have to constantly remind myself that he is not simply a character in a book. He was real, and he lives in the lives of the people he has touched even after his death. It is a poignant story with a very serious topic. However, even though it deals with death, there is a positive tone about it. Morrie teaches us to accept our past and look forward to having peace. He is such an admirable person in that even when he was dealt the death card, he managed to remain positive and make differences in the lives of those around him.

It is definitely heartbreaking watching this man wither and grow weaker with each chapter. This man has lost so much. By the end of the book, he can no longer do any of the activities that he has loved throughout his life, and yet he persists in smiling and helping others. Even when he cannot wipe his own bottom, he tries to look on the positive side – a reminder to all of us to not get too wrapped up in our own worries. Live in the present and experience it with good company.

The only negative thing I would say about the book is that Albom’s writing is quite simple, and sometimes, it comes across as corny – almost as if it was a Hallmark greeting card. However, I don’t think that should stop you from picking this book up. Corniness is truth wrapped in banal words after all.

This book reminds us all that we need to accept what happens to us. Only then can we detach ourselves and see things from a full and meaningful perspective. Only when we learn to die can we learn to live. I’m grateful for having found this book. It was spectacular in its meaning and thoughtfulness. I would definitely recommend this one!

If you want to see this review on video, please check it out on YouTube. Don’t forget to subscribe and leave your comments!

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The Princess in the Opal Mask Video Review

Don’t feel like reading my review and feel like watching it instead? You’re in luck! I did both, so if you prefer, you can watch my review of The Princess in the Opal Mask by Jenny Lundquist on YouTube. Don’t forget to subscribe and leave your comments. They mean so much to me! Thanks guys!